by Phil D. Jay
WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin faces former world title holder Hasim Rahman on September 29 knowing that a victory could lead him into some huge paydays in the top division.
The 32 year-old has been forced to wait to defend his title after Rahman suffered a hand injury in the build-up to their previous arrangement and has now been out of the ring for six months since scoring a majority decision over 200lb WBO champion Marco Huck.
There had been question marks over the validity of the inactive Rahman gaining his fifth chance at a world belt, although Povektin remains unfazed and is ready to deal with what is in front of him next month.
“I was not surprised when Rahman was made mandatory as he is a great fighter. He has fought real people and beat Lennox Lewis so I won’t underestimate him.
“We have video of him, but he is too fat so maybe that has changed.”
Povetkin gained the WBA title with victory over Ruslan Chagaev a year ago and has since defended it against Cedric Boswell as well as his victory over Huck. The ‘Russian Knight’ is now open to the prospect of a rematch with the German and told WBN that some of the bigger names in the division are also on his radar.
“I am definitely ready for a Klitschko, but I am also interested in fighting Haye in England, that is a most interesting contest.
“I have the outstanding question with Huck and the rematch is another possibility. I also rate Chris Arreola from America as the highest of all the current heavyweights coming through so there are lots of possibilities.
“I hope to fight again in 2012 after I have taken care of the mandatory situation,” he added.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.net